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Mind, Brain and Emotion

Center researchers constantly search for clues of how the brain works and its impact on our lives, society and the planet.

We’re dedicated to learning about the roots of perception, emotions and well-being because the more we understand, the better positioned we are to craft interventions that promote well-being and relieve suffering in more meaningful and lasting ways.

Our researchers are exploring the frontiers of the mind, drawing from an understanding of genetic, neural and psychological processes, ancient wisdom and contemplative practice to enrich the human experience and find new ways to foster well-being in the world.

Ongoing Studies

Infant and mother for Baby Brain and Behavior Project
Baby Brain and Behavior Project

Our researchers are learning more about how very early experiences influence the developing brain and child well-being.

A Human Painted In Watercolor Holding A Hand Over Heart To Demonstrate The Link Between Stress In The Body And In The Mind
Body Awareness, Mindfulness and Mind-Body Coherence

How does the relationship between mental and physical stress impact well-being?

Illustrations of firing neuron network by 7activestudio via iStock
Cognitive Control and the Regulation of Emotion, Attention and Pain

Are people who are better at controlling their attention, emotion or pain responses in a laboratory setting more successful at carrying that skill into daily life?

Photo of rowboat floating on still waters of a lake by rmnunes via iStock
Conceptions of Mindfulness

Scholars at the Center examine perceptions and experiences related to mindfulness and how they contribute to studying differing practices.

Profile Of Person With Brain
Emotion and Wellness Study

How do people experience emotions over a period of time and what does that say about their resilience and well-being?

View Of A Buddhist Monastery
Examining Individual Differences in Contemplative Practice Response

This study seeks to build upon knowledge from Tibetan medicine through examining well-being data and microbiome measures on a variety of people with varying levels of meditation training who have participated in previous intervention studies to gain a better understanding of what works for whom and why.

Alzheimers Web
Examining the Relationship Between Emotion and Preclinical Alzheimer’s Disease

Center for Healthy Minds researchers are examining how emotion may play a role in the development of Alzheimer’s Disease.

Young Children In Computer Class
Investigating Neuroplasticity Associated with Cognitive Training in Young Children

How does a cognitive training program impact brain development in 6-year-old children?

Photo of Tibetan singing bowl by bkkm via iStock
Mapping the Interface between Meditation and Neuroscience

Center researchers and collaborators are building new approaches to understand the links between traditional contemplative perspectives and scientific theory to better study the scientific effects of meditation training on the brain, body, mind and behavior.

Woman doing crossword puzzle by plamensart via iStock
Midlife Development in the United States

Our scientists examine how individual differences in emotional reactivity and recovery to emotional stimuli, brain structure and patterns of brain activity are related to life experiences, personality, behavior, health and well-being across the adult lifespan in a large national longitudinal sample.

Image of abstract head and growth by chatchaisurakram via iStock
Moral Psychology and Flourishing

What drives moral behavior and greater well-being?

Smiling Faces Study
Smiling Faces Task and Responses to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Following up with past research participants about the pandemic's impact on their lives and their current psychological outlook.

Meditation Cushion Next To Candle
The Field Study of Long-term Meditation Practitioners and the Tukdam Post-death Meditative State

A global community of field researchers are collaborating on a study of an ancient monastic post-mortem meditative state known as tukdam, practiced by present-day expert Tibetan Buddhists and how such a practice might offer insight into mental, spiritual, and physical well-being during the death process, both for the dying and for their support community.

Buddhist ritual photo by CreativaImages via iStock
Understanding Mindfulness through Buddhist Contemplative Practice

How can Buddhist traditions influence the study and practice of mindfulness today?

Photo of person planting seedling by weerapatkiatdumrong via iStockPhoto
Understanding the Mechanisms of Well-Being Training in Adults with and without Asthma

Center scientists and collaborators examine the impact of well-being training.

Stick Figure Human Evolution Web
Viewing Depression Through an Evolutionary Lens

Can we use an evolutionary perspective to better understand depression?